Differential gene expression is the major mechanism underlying the development of specific body regions. Here we assessed the role of genes differentially expressed in the Drosophila wing imaginal disc, which gives rise to two distinct adult structures: the body wall and the wing. Reverse genetics was used to test the function of uncharacterized genes first identified in a microarray screen as having high levels of expression in the presumptive wing. Such genes could participate in elaborating the specific morphological characteristics of the wing. The activity of the genes was modulated using misexpression and RNAi-mediated silencing. Misexpression of eight of nine genes tested caused phenotypes. Of 12 genes tested, 10 showed effective silencing with RNAi transgenes, but only 3 of these had resulting phenotypes. The wing phenotypes resulting from RNAi suggest that CG8780 is involved in patterning the veins in the proximal region of the wing blade and that CG17278 and CG30069 are required for adhesion of wing surfaces. Venation and apposition of the wing surfaces are processes specific to wing development providing a correlation between the expression and function of these genes. The results show that a combination of expression profiling and tissue-specific gene silencing has the potential to identify new genes involved in wing development and hence to contribute to our understanding of this process. However, there are both technical and biological limitations to this approach, including the efficacy of RNAi and the role that gene redundancy may play in masking phenotypes.